Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
Codex Pictures have announced production of Ultramarines, the first feature film to be based upon Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k. If you don’t know what 40k is then it seems, somewhat surprisingly, that you aren’t quite as geeky as me. Simply put, it’s a tabletop wargame, as played with little miniature figurines and dice of many sides. Created in the late 80s as a spacey shooty spin off to a trolls and goblins original, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the 40k version seems to have developed a following all its own and, at least whenever I walk by the local Games Workshop store, seems to be getting played at least as much as its ‘classic’ swords and sorcery ancestor.
The film has a freshly minted official site, but there’s nothing much to see yet. Meanwhile, Codex Pictures have a press release page that tells us how “hugely honoured” they are to be making the film, and similar puffy fluff.
The game’s mythology is obviously geared to little more than providing context for violent and often epic confrontations. The hero characters, such as they are, are massive great genetically modified marines, Hulk scaled and armour clad and equipped with some seriously tasty boomsticks. They’re all happy to kill and die in service of the Emperor (sounds… familiar…).
Meanwhile, there are other species cluttering up the Milky Way and lining up to be bashed around a bit. These include the Eldar, essentially space elves, and the Orks who are, to all intents and purposes, Orcs. There’s also a hive-mind species called the Tyranids and some nasty things called Necrons who are living creatures made of metal and therefore (though obviously I don’t mean this literally) rock hard. Quite which of these will be turning up and getting shot at in Ultramarines is, so far, anybody’s guess.
If ever there was a film that had direct to DVD written all over it, its this one. Niche market. Having said that, I know an awful lot of people who’d never dream of touching a 28mm lead model but would like to see a movie full of epic space smackdowns just like this, so just maybe its a breakout waiting to happen.